First of all, you should never plug your phone into a public USB port, and that includes rental cars and essentially any cars that you don't own. "The USB cable and outlet are designed not only to charge the connected device, but they are also designed for two-way data transfer," John Burkhauser, an auto repair specialist and director of educational programs at Bolt On Technology, tells Reader's Digest. "When the phone is plugged into the active outlet, usually located at the front of the vehicle, both the phone and the vehicle systems will talk to each other." Translation? Using that USB port can transfer information from your phone to the car, and the car can store private information from your phone. Here are 13 ways hackers get you when you travel.
"Most everything you do with the phone and the vehicle systems will be stored in the vehicle’s memory," says Burkhauser. "Your music list, text numbers, the addresses you looked for using GPS, and more. When you disconnect, you leave all this information behind. This can be accessed by anyone who uses the vehicle after you."